Okay, Let’s Review this Summer 2019

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Mid-City’s very own Willy West sporting the SkyBlue Los Cuentos; Summer 2019

For summer break this year, we created a list of goals for how to beat Summer 2019. We did this because it’s long been known by educators and other professionals that when summer hits cities like Los Angeles, it can be a challenging time for young people and their families in particular; summer’s heat-laden days and nights without any school in between breaks many of our rhythms, and can lead to issues at home if we lack the best guidance over how to fill the sudden free time. So, The L.A. Storyteller got active with a series of blogs for youth that anyone could do at home with a simple WiFi connection and a dab of motivation:

We called our list of tips How to Beat Summer 2019, Parts I, II, and III, and even threw in a FREE Black & White Los Cuentos Hoodie for students who wanted to go the extra mile with our tips, which ranged from reading & writing activities to exercise, and more! We then followed this list with 10 WAYS NOT TO BEAT Summer 2019, ’cause we know how much kids love to be told what not to do. And also how often it works. Right?!

Following this, we introduced students to our very own outline process for our blog’s schedule with How To Outline Your Summer 2019, in order for youth to try their own hands at planning the days and weeks’ activities. For the more adventurous, outdoorsy young people, we published Secret Agent: How to Discover Your Neighborhood in Los Angeles, which details how to use L.A.’s more popular destinations to think about planning the future of our own sides of the town.

This felt like enough tips for a while then, but suddenly from out of nowhere came the barrage of fireworks leading to the 4th of July. To let students know in case they weren’t having the best 4th of ’em all–that it would still be okay–we published 5 Tips for When 4th of July Sucks.

Then, because I knew that some students still hadn’t put down their Fornite to read about everything else they could do, I published three more blogs to close out the writing series. These blogs featured tips that I felt youth especially needed to read about regardless of what they were doing this summer, including tips on how to get along with the family, how to “stay” friends with the squad, and even how to best deal with relationships.

This made for a total of ten blogs all for young readers this Summer 2019, after which the season would never again slow down for yours truly. This was due to another adventure, which was also one of the challenges on our list I suggested that students try out for themselves: the creation of a podcast. In our first ever podcast together, known as J.T. The L.A. Storyteller Podcast, my friend Ed and I published two episodes to start off a series centered on yet another special project for us, which the whole world and their mom now knows is BTS 2.

Things to do would pick up thunderously with this special day, and in a flicker of time, it’s now been over two months since we first set our sights on making Summer 2019 something special; the event is now just a single week away!

I’m hopeful that by sharing about all these different projects and things to do, a handful of students and families out there learned about different creative strategies for the season that they may have missed otherwise. But I also know that no matter how much I might write, the summer for some students can still be filled with so much going on that even if they really meant to read our blogs, it was still one of those things they just couldn’t get to.

Indeed, it’s like this for many Youngs during the school-year as well, but as I like to tell these and other students during the busy and fast-paced school-year: it’s alright, because of course there’s still the next season to tackle, during which we can try everything we missed before and even more.

In fact, that’s what our 2nd Annual Back to School Party is all about: a culmination of all of our creative efforts this summer as much as it is an invitation to young people and their families to celebrate the possibilities with us. Because no matter how far a person might go or how much time they put in to create something new, there’s still always more to do.

So come on Los Angeles! Go and get your raffle tickets for Back 2 School 2! You and your fams may just be the biggest winners of them all.

J.T.

Top 5 DON’TS with Your Friends this Summer

Okay, so hanging out with your friends (or not) over Summer can be a little tricky sometimes. This is especially true when you’re mostly used to seeing your friends at school since once school is out, there are different challenges that come up like not being able to see each other, or not exactly knowing what to do when you do see each other since you’re not on your usual routines. Here are five tips to keep in mind to make the most of all of it!

1. DON’T underestimate how much fun you can still have without your besties this summer. While it’s true that once school is out you can technically spend more time with each other without teachers looking over you, more often than not, summer STILL keeps you from many of the friends you enjoy talking and laughing the most with. This can feel very isolating. At some points you may even ask, “If we’re not seeing each other, are we still friends?” You’ll have time to figure this out later, but for now, just know this: you can definitely still enjoy the gifts of summer sunshine even without the cast of your besties surrounding you.

2. DON’T worry if it seems like “things are suddenly changing” with your friends for some strange reason. The fact of the matter is that things, including people, are always in motion. Even through the sluggish nature of the season at times, things continue shifting all around us. Take the tectonic plates of Southern California, for example; in less than three weeks this summer 2019, we’ve had hundreds of earthquakes rattling everything around us! So even the earth is moving, my friend, just like us. As it was during the shaking and rolling quakes, the whole feeling of “being out of control” over what happens with your friends can be strange and overwhelming. But then, after you get through it, it’s actually a pretty cool Cuento to look back on. And you know how much we love Los Cuentos!

3. DON’T just copy what your friends are doing because that’s the only way you can stay friends. I’m going to remind you of a little secret we can all lose sight of as we “grow up” together: It’s a myth, as in, not true, that you’ve got to be “just like each other” to remain besties with your buds. The fact is that each of you can do the things that satisfy you personally, even if they’re very different things. You do not have to walk all the same streets together, or even walk and talk in the same way. If you truly “got each other’s” backs, you’ll respect the differences between you. 100!

4. DON’T let your friends miss their next chance to win a new Los Cuentos Hoodie. That would just be selfish. And wrong. Tell them about the contest so you can all give it a shot together like true friends. Or, I guess you can do it on your own! It’s your life! Don’t let me stop you!

5. DON’T just watch your friends’ stories online and figure that’s all there is to do. I know, this one is really hard. Our phones are addicting, even if most of us don’t like admitting just how addicting! But there’s good news: Human beings were doing just fine without smartphones thousands of years before they took control of our fingertips! Which simply means that you can definitely take just a few hours away from your phone to do something of your own thing. But hey, isn’t it ironic, or just a little funny, that I’m advising you to take time off your phones from my website, which by default requires you to be online, and which probably means you’re still spending more time on your phones watching other people’s stories, which is what this item on our list is advising you not to get stuck on?!

Okay, that’s enough, then! Excuse me while I unplug for a little while, friend.

J.T.

BONUS: How to Outline Your Summer 2019

JRG; Spring 2019

So you want to enter the new Los Cuentos Hoodie Challenge by Jimbo Times, but you’re not quite sure how to get started. You’re in luck, because in this bonus post I’m going to show you exactly how you can create the outline for your shot at the prize.

The term “outline” is not a very fun word. It sounds like a school-word. Plus, anything with the word “work” in it likely describes long, difficult tasks, and I know you’re not trying to do more long, difficult tasks than you need to. But guess what:

For kids in big cities like Los Angeles, summer is actually filled with long, difficult tasks. The most important of these tasks is survival.

You’ve got to survive.

This is what the outline is actually about. Because if you don’t have at least some plan over what you’ll be doing this summer 2019, it’s just going to drag on. An outline is just that: it’s a plan. Now here’s some top secret information for you to see how it works:

The J.T. Post Outline; Summer 2019.

Do you see the way that I’ve planned, or outlined, the summer for myself? For every other day between now and at least the end of next week, I’ve got a specific goal for Jimbo Times. It’s very simple, too. But the hardest part of the entire outline was just getting started on it.

But now, whenever I get anxious or feel like I just don’t know what to do, I look at the outline and it brings me back into the game, telling me where I’m at, where I need to go next, and on. Your outline for your Los Cuentos Hoodie will do the same.

Let’s say you’re a Young out there who wants to make their own list for Summer 2019 to get that Black & White Los Cuentos Hoodie. First off, just copy and paste my lists from Parts I, II and III, then change them into your own. Next, you’ll need to make your podcast. Let’s see what the outline for that will look like:

The J.T. Post Outline; Summer 2019.

See how simple that is? And yes, if you’re wondering, I did just copy and paste the outline for Summer 2019 and switched the colors around to make it different. Why? Because it’s simpler that way!

Now, drop everything else you’re doing, pick an item for a project from the list, and get started on your outline. It’s your Summer 2019.

J.T.